In some of last week’s classes we re-visited the theme of fluidity and how to bring a more fluid quality into our movement. Why do we need it, some might ask? There are lots of good reasons. Yoga practitioners can have a tendency to be quite static in their approach to asana and reluctant to leave the safety of the mat. Ultimately we do our bodies a disservice by ignoring the importance of fluidity. As we age, our movement can easily become rigid and restricted. We can counter this tendency by practising exercises that encourage fluidity and then incorporate the new-found quality into asana and daily life.
Culturally in the west we tend to be bound by strict timetables, so it can feel very healing when time is set aside to practise fluid movement. In this way potential is created for greater comfort in the joints and muscles of the body. We may also develop the ability to express emotions more freely and make easier transitions in our daily lives.
The Body-Mind Centering approach to fluids is that each one has a particular ‘mind’ and movement quality of its own. For example cerebro-spinal fluid has qualities of spaciousness, timelessness; lymph – qualities of directness, focus; arterial blood – warmth and compassion for others; synovial fluid – carefree, relaxed and rebounding.
In my workshops we explore the fluid qualities in more detail as above, in class we regularly practise exercises that promote a general fluid quality in movement. Examples of these exercises are ‘Sea Anemone’, ‘Starfish’, Spirals. Last week we practised the ‘Seaweed Game’ that’s described in Donna Farhi’s book ‘Yoga Mind Body and Spirit.’
Class members chose a partner. One person took the role of ‘Sea’, the other person took the role of ‘Seaweed’. Seaweed had closed eyes and moved fluidly in response to the touch of Sea. Sea touched Seaweed on various parts of the body to help initiate the movement.
A few people found it challenging at first to let go of prescribed ways of moving. Others got quite giddy and found Seaweed Game fun. Most people found it very relaxing.
A piece of music that works well for Seaweed Game is ‘Cloud Mountain’ by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors.